Home BancShares Plans Merger of Cabot, Mountain View Charters

by Gwen Moritz  on Thursday, May. 29, 2008 11:24 am  

Home BancShares of Conway plans to merge the Bank of Mountain View into Cabot-chartered Community Bank, according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, and more such mergers may be in the works.

The addition of $193.5 million in Bank of Mountain View assets (as of March 31) will bring Community Bank to nearly $600 million and will make it the largest charter in the Home BancShares family. Home BancShares is also the holding company for First State Bank of Conway, Twin City Bank of North Little Rock, Centennial Bank of Little Rock and Marine Bank of Marathon, Fla.

The SEC disclosure said Home BancShares would "continue to evaluate its opportunities for improving efficiencies, including other bank charter consolidations."

Kyle Proctor, marketing director for Community Bank, confirmed Thursday that the Bank of Mountain View name would remain on its existing branches. The branding of branches with different names than the parent bank is a growing trend - Farmers Bank & Trust of Blytheville, for instance, has branches in Tennessee that are branded as Tennessee Bank & Trust.

While Home BancShares said it "remains committed to the community banking philosophy and will continue to rely on local management and boards of directors," Proctor said the expense of maintaining separate accounting for the various charters was a consideration in the merger.

"I think (the directors) are just trying to do right by the shareholders," he said.



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